This morning I found myself meditating on this portion of a powerful verse found in the Book of Nehemiah.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.Nehemiah 8:10 (extract)
I couldn’t help but wonder,
Why are people, including Christians, so unhappy?
Living in America, I see constant reminders that happiness doesn’t come from material possessions. God has given this country everything, yet our depression rate exceeds that of many countries with less. It’s as though God wants us to realize that joy—true, lasting joy—doesn’t come from technological gadgets, pets, or wealth.
It only comes from a deep relationship with Him.
My question is critical, because without that joy we have no strength to resist the evil around us.
Joy is a treasure that we must choose to protect and nurture. Its enemies are many. Among other things, our busy schedules, lack of quality time with Jesus, and our emphasis on this life, conspire like villainous pirates to steal our joy, replacing it with anxiety and depression.
So let’s reclaim our God-given happiness.
Join me in taking these three steps to protecting the joy that Christ offers.
- Limit your “to-do” list. Make it manageable, remembering that there will always be more to do tomorrow.
- Focus on Christ. Make quality time with the Lord the center of your day. How much time is up to you. But, even if it’s in small chunks, make spending time in God’s Word and prayer a key part of your day.
- Think on good things. Although problems may surround you, put your thoughts on things that build you up and nurture your faith. Speak positively and face life with the confidence that God’s joy in your heart makes you stronger than anything the future may hold.
Choose joy today.